Game 21 Preview: Canucks @ Flames

"Aww come on, really? No snow day?!!!"
Photo Credit: @sportsnetmurph

I think it’s fair to assume that the Canucks watched the weather (and airport) reports out of Calgary this afternoon with the intent, hopeful interest of a child crossing their fingers and hoping for a snow day. Due to a severe snow storm that has battered Calgary for the past couple of days, the airport was closed (partly because the runway lights were malfunctioning) and the Canucks had a hell of a time getting into town. In fact, for a couple of hours there it looked like tonight’s game might be cancelled or postponed. Ultimately the Canucks managed to land in cowtown, and will face a quick transition as they rush to the rink, get a game day skate in and prepare to battle a Flames team they’ve historically dominated.

With a hectic travel schedule and coming off of an emotional victory last night against the Kings, the Canucks could struggle to find their legs in this one. On the other hand, the Flames will start Danny Taylor in net so yeah…

Read on past the jump for a (not very) thorough preview.

Broadcast Info:

Puckdrop: 5 PM PST

Television: Sportsnet

Radio: The Team


We’ll do this briefly because I held off on writing this until I knew for sure that the game would be going down. The Canucks will presumably roll with the same forward lines they used on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings, meaning that Alex Burrows will skate with the twins, Mason Raymond stays at centre on the second line inbetween Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins, Maxim Lapierre with centre a couple of behemoths in Zack Kassian and David Booth, and Jordan Schroeder will see limited action on the fourth-line with Dale "powerforward" Weise and Tom Sestito.

According to Dan Murphy, Kevin Bieksa will draw out of the lineup with a groin injury. There’s no word on whether or not Bieksa reaggravated the injury on Saturday against the Kings, or whether the team is holding him out of a back-to-back for precautionary reasons but let’s hope for the latter.

In Bieksa’s absence it looks like Cam Barker will play over Keith Ballard tonight, and he’ll be paired with Alex Edler on a pairing that I can’t imagine will get many (or any) defensive-zone starts at even-strength. Let’s just say that I’m not optimistic about how Barker will fit in with the club, but I’ll reserve judgement until he’s made his debut. That said playing him over Keith Ballard (who has been pretty damn good this season, frankly) strikes me as fairly irrational.

The Jason Garrison, Dan Hamhuis pairing was dynamite against the Kings (and pretty damn good against the Coyotes earlier in the week as well) and I’ll look forward to seeing them play together again.

According to Flames Nation’s Ryan Pike, the Flames will deploy their lineup as follows:

  • Tanguay – Stajan – Stempniak
  • Hudler – Cervenka – Iginla
  • Glencross – Cammalleri – Baertschi
  • Begin – Comeau – McGrattan
  • Giordano – Bouwmeester
  • Brodie – Wideman
  • Butler – Smith

So expect the Sedin twins to see a steady diet of Giordano and Bouwmeester, while battling Matt Stajan up front? Or maybe Cervenka and Iginla? I have no idea, but it looks to me like Bob Hartley will have a "pick your poison" decision in terms of which group he decides to hard-match against the Sedin line… Best of luck to Danny Taylor!

Numbers Game

  Calgary Vancouver
Record 7-8-4 11-5-4
Goal Differential -13 +5
PP% 21.1% 17.3%
PK% 77.9% 79.5%
Corsi% 49.5% 53.7%
Fenwick% Close 53.9% 50.6%
PDO 97.3 101.5

Game Day Links

  • Vintage Flame

    @ C:

    My thoughts exactly…my only explanation, if Ballard isnt hurt is that maybe AV doesnt want to play Tanev with Ballard, and that’s all that works. Or maybe they want to see what Barker is capable of against a lesser team, before they get more injuries. But, still, WTF!!!????